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2015 offers little relief to consumers

2015 offers little relief to consumers

KARACHI: Consumers did not get much benefit from falling global commodity prices, especially of crude oil, in 2015 as local manufacturers and market forces have either pushed up prices or kept rates unchanged owing to lack of any strict monitoring by the authorities concerned.

Meanwhile, buyers are set to brave another wave of food inflation as the manufacturers have not yet passed on the impact of mini-budget under which import duty had been raised on finished and raw materials to cover up revenue shortfall.

FLOUR: Despite a bumper wheat crop amid huge carryover stocks of last year in the wake of dropping world wheat prices, flour millers did not cut prices as price regulators took no interest in safeguarding consumers’ interest.

The 10kg bag of flour, which were price at Rs400, is now sold at Rs430. Similarly, per-kg prices of fine flour, atta no.2.5 and chakki flour have risen from Rs45, Rs40 and Rs48, to Rs46, Rs43 and Rs49, respectively.

Suji (semolina) and maida, which were selling at Rs50 per kg each earlier this year, are now available at Rs60 per kg.

In the last one year, world wheat prices have fallen to $153 per tonne from over $200. In Pakistan, the commodity costs between $300-320 per tonne due to high support price fixed by the government.

PULSES: Almost all the varieties of pulses became dearer in the current year in which highly consumed gram pulse now costs Rs130 as compared to Rs75 per kg. Basen is now sold at Rs140-150 per kg as compared to Rs70. Kabuli chana (white gram) and black chana (black gram) carry retail price of Rs143 and Rs121 per kg as compared to Rs115 and Rs88.

The price of masoor pulse (top quality) has increased to Rs145 per kg from Rs135 after jump in its wholesale price from Rs122 to Rs127. The price of mash (white) has swelled to a record high of Rs270-280 per kg from Rs156.

Despite Rs20-50 per kg decline in wholesale price of various varieties of rice, retailers remained kept prices high throughout the year. Its prices on the world markets also remain depressed. High quality basmati rice is still sold at Rs150-160 per kg while medium quality basmati is available at Rs120-140.

SUGAR: Its price remained at Rs65 per kg by the middle of this year before dropping to Rs55. In January, its price was Rs50 per kg. On the international market, sugar price dropped to 32 US cents per kg from 33 cents earlier this year.

TEA: Leading tea blenders also raised prices after increase in Kenyan tea rates. The prices of Tapal Mixture and Tapal Danedar’s 950-gram packs jumped to Rs750 and Rs820 from Rs520 and Rs570, while of 190-gram packs to Rs164 and Rs174 from Rs110 and Rs120.

The fortnightly price list of commodities issued by the city administration holds no significance for consumers, who think there is hardly anything available in the markets at these rates.

MEAT: The per-kg price of beef meat (veal) rose to Rs380-400 (with bones) and Rs480-500 (boneless) from Rs340-360 and Rs440-460. Mutton is available at Rs680-700 per kg in different areas as compared to Rs640-650 per kg earlier this year.

At Burnes Road in Karachi, beef is sold at Rs400-420 (with bones) and Rs500-550 (boneless) while mutton’s rate is Rs750 per kg.

MILK: Despite decline in dry milk prices by 10-15 per cent in the last one year, the domestic prices of milk remained unchanged. Nido’s 910-gram pack sells at Rs720 followed by 1kg Everyday at Rs660 and Tetra Pak milk at Rs110 per litre.

OIL: Umair Naseer, senior research analyst at Topline Securities, said prices of petroleum products have come down due to falling international oil prices. Furnace oil prices are down to Rs31,208 per tonne from Rs43,015 earlier.

He said the government has not fully passed on the decline in global oil prices to petrol and diesel consumers. Kerosene price fell to Rs84 from 94 per litre, while petrol and diesel rates are now quoted at Rs77 and Rs85 per litre as compared to Rs79 and Rs87.

He said gas prices up to 3.3719 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) rose to Rs129 from Rs124, while electricity charges up to 50 units remained static at Rs2 per unit.

LPG 11kg cylinder now costs Rs1,234 as compared to Rs1,735.

Courtesy : DawnNews



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